How to Host a Wine Tasting Night (Virtual or In-Person)

By | Blog, Hosting, Wine Education | No Comments

Since we don’t have a tasting room at Tanglewood, we wanted to bring the tasting experience home to you! Wine tasting is a great way to learn more about your likes and dislikes, and wine culture in general! Jazz up a regular night with friends by adding in a simple tasting. All you need are Tanglewood wines and the downloadable tasting sheet.

Download & Print

What is wine tasting?

From what you see in movies and on tv, wine tasting can seem like an intimidating or pretentious pastime, reserved for wine experts and foodies. The truth is, it doesn’t have to be so serious! In Michigan, thanks to our quantity of excellent vineyards, wine tasting isn’t so foreign. Essentially, wine tasting is the process of evaluating different aspects of the wine including color, taste, scent, and more! Take the wine tasting experience home by hosting your own wine tasting party (virtual or in-person)! 

How to host a wine tasting party:

The first step to hosting a tasting is to pick a theme! You can pick a selection of wines from the same region, price range, style, vintage, variety, etc. For our tasting sheet, we used Tanglewood wines, all from Holland, Michigan. 

The key to a great tasting experience is to keep the group small. This way everyone gets a chance to share their thoughts and converse about each wine. In 2020, this is also a good way to make sure everyone can stay safe and keep distanced from each other. You can do this tasting outside or virtually too! 

How much wine should you have per person?

A bottle of wine is usually around 24 ounces. A typical taste is about 2-ounces, however, it may take a few tastes for guests to feel confident about their analysis. We’d recommend about a bottle per person to ensure that everyone has a chance to taste and enjoy each.

What do I need to host a wine tasting party?

Aside from the obvious, wine and tasting sheets, there are a few other supplies that can improve the experience. 

  1. Print out our wine terminology cheat sheet: so that you and your guests can discuss the wines like pros!
  2. Glassware — one glass per person will work, but a glass per each type of wine would make the experience smoother. If you do use one glass per person, make sure you are rinsing the glass thoroughly between tastes because previous wines can contaminate the flavor of the next and throw off your notes.
  3. Palate Cleansers — set out some type of palate cleanser like water crackers, bread, etc. Palate cleansers help reset your taste buds between wines so that you’re getting an accurate flavor.
  4. Water — make sure everyone has enough water to drink between sips!
  5. Pick a few snacks — We have a few recipe and appetizer ideas on our blog to give you an idea of which will work best with our wines! 

Finding Joy During Long Winters

By | Blog, Health | No Comments

After the whirlwind of the holidays, a lot of people are left feeling a little down. We are looking at a few more (less eventful) months full of snow, car scraping, and giant puffer coats. Unfortunately, in Michigan, those winter months are also fairly grey and gloomy. We are so fortunate to have our Great Lakes, however they tend to make winter life more difficult in our area. We know the winters here are worth all the beauty in our state, not to mention the wonderful communities, and limitless activities….. BUT that doesn’t do much to combat the winter blues. 


So if you’re struggling to drag yourself out of your cozy bed every morning and face another chilly day, you’re not alone. Our job is to help people enjoy the small and big moments in life more; so we wanted to break down some of the causes of “winter blues,” and make some suggestions to add some joy to your life during winter.

“Just” winter blues? While many people struggle with tiredness, moodiness, and general malaise during the winter months, they may brush it off as “just winter blues.” What are the “winter blues” and why do they affect so many people? 

Did you know that almost 10 million Americans suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)? According to the Mayo Clinic, SAD is “a type of depression that’s related to changes in seasons — SAD begins and ends at about the same times every year. If you’re like most people with SAD, your symptoms start in the fall and continue into the winter months, sapping your energy and making you feel moody.” (


SAD can cause you to oversleep AND overeat… not so helpful for those New Year’s resolutions. As a type of depression, SAD is not something that should be brushed off. Thankfully, residents Grand Rapids are taking their mental health seriously and getting help.  In 2019, Grand Rapids had the highest rate of diagnosed depression among large U.S. cities according to a study conducted by Insurance Providers, with 25% of the population being diagnosed with a type of depression. While that statistic can seem shocking and sad, there is another way to look at it. We have a great healthcare system in place and therefore, lots of access to mental health resources. 


Even if you don’t have SAD or other types of depression, you may notice some more subtle shifts in your mood and in your routine when the days get shorter. 

So what can you do to bring back your sunny disposition, even if the sun stays away?


One major cause of SAD and feeling generally less joyful is social withdrawal. It can be easy to simply go through the motions when getting out of bed is a struggle, BUT spending time with family and friends can be a huge help. It may seem like a pain to try to coordinate get togethers or dinner parties, but they might just be the key to turning your frown upside down! 


People who are feeling depressed are more sensitive to negative social situations, but they are also more sensitive to positive ones! This means that someone who’s struggling with SAD or another form of depression will get a stronger sense of well-being and belonging in social situations. (Steger & Kashdan, 2009).


Whether it’s making sure date night happens once a week, or hosting a dinner party, evenings with loved ones offer a lot of benefits to your mental health. For one, cooking (or learning to cook) can be a stress-relieving, creative activity. Making something tangible that can be shared with people you care about can make you feel really proud of yourself. Secondly, seeing people you care about more frequently can help you feel more gratitude and well-being. Third, having a planned evening gives you something to look forward to: a rainbow at the end of your snow-covered, icy tunnel.

“Research examining 5,000 teenagers has shown that when children eat with their parents regularly, they are more likely to be emotionally strong and have better mental health. Teens who ate regular family meals were also more likely to be adjusted, have good manners and communication skills. This effect is not restricted to the children – mothers who ate with their families often were also found to be happier and less stressed as compared to mothers who did not. (“9 Scientifically Proven Reasons to Eat Dinner as a Family – Goodnet”, 2020)” 


AND wine may help even more. Medical News Today’s article titled: A glass of wine a day may keep depression away shares that a study conducted in Spain found: “that those who drank moderate amounts of alcohol (5 to 15 g a day) were less likely to suffer from depression. Additionally, those who drank a moderate amount of wine on a weekly basis (two to seven small glasses a week), were found to have an even lower risk of depression (“A glass of wine a day may keep depression away”, 2020).” 


But don’t use that as an excuse to drink away your problems, “further findings suggest that wine consumption exceeding seven glasses a week could increase the risk of depression (“A glass of wine a day may keep depression away”, 2020).” So make sure you drink responsibly. 


If preparing meals feels like a chore now, try making something new or invite someone new over to share with you! We tend to take things in our routine for granted, but mixing things up reminds us how good we have it and what life offers.

Sound too stressful? We don’t judge! Cooking can be intimidating, especially if you’re already intimidated enough by regular daily life. Maybe try a new restaurant. We are lucky to have a great food and drink scene in West Michigan with plenty of healthy options as well as nice environments for conversation. The main idea is to share food and drink with others. 


Take advantage of mental health resources. We’re not suggesting that shared food and drink will cure depression. Reaching out to a licensed health care provider is extremely important. However, if you are just finding daily life a little bit less joyous, a simple shared meal might bring you the joy you need to keep on keepin’ on.

Whether Tanglewood wines are part of your gatherings or not, we want to make sure you’re taking time to enjoy the small things with people you care about. 


Need some hosting ideas? Check out some of our recipes and tips on our blog.


Steger, M., & Kashdan, T. (2009). Depression and everyday social activity, belonging, and well-being. Journal Of Counseling Psychology, 56(2), 289-300. doi: 10.1037/a0015416

9 Scientifically Proven Reasons to Eat Dinner as a Family – Goodnet. (2020). Retrieved 10 January 2020, from

Study: Grand Rapids has highest rate of depression nationwide. (2020). Retrieved 10 January 2020, from

A glass of wine a day may keep depression away. (2020). Retrieved 10 January 2020, from


Late Summer Charcuterie Board

By | Blog, Recipes, Wine Pairings | No Comments

As summer trails off into fall, Michiganders can start to feel a little anxious about the impending cool temperatures and separation from our beloved Great Lakes. We should instead be enjoying the near perfect weather that lingers this time of year. Sun, cool breezes, and mild temperatures make September the perfect month to soak up the natural beauty of West Michigan. 

How can you make a beautiful day even better? Add wine of course! And some tasty, (mostly) healthy snacks! 

Charcuterie boards are the best. Not only are they a fun, social way to eat, they’re actually the way humans are meant to eat. Gradual grazing is better for digestion versus one large meal eaten quickly. Taking the time to compile flavors to your taste also helps us savor each bite. 

We put together this late summer charcuterie board to compliment the flavors in our wines. A good charcuterie board balances sweet and savory, crunchy and smooth, and heavy and light options. Aside from that, any fruits, meats, cheeses, veggies, legumes, spreads and breads can be used.  

Here are the ingredients we used:

  • Green Olives
  • Pickles
  • Blueberries
  • Raspberries
  • Salami
  • Prosciutto
  • Toasted Bread Slices
  • Fig Goat Cheese
  • Honey
  • Grapes
  • Dried Apricots
  • Almonds
  • Fig Jam
  • Bread Sticks
  • Stone Ground Mustard
  • Rosemary 

Dried fruits and jams are great ways to add a little sweetness to your board. While dried fruit can taste only mildly sweet on its own — when paired with salty prosciutto — the sweetness is much stronger. Prosciutto and fruit has always been a charcuterie staple. Other than dried fruit, you could try pairing it with cantaloupe or pear.

Another wonderful thing about charcuterie boards is that with the variety of flavors, many different wines pair well! If you’re bringing a board to a social event, make sure to bring a few different kinds of wine. You can try making bites to pair with each type!

Spreads like stone ground mustard, honey, jams, or even soft cheeses like the fig goat cheese we used serve as a great base for other toppings. 

Charcuterie boards — like wines — are meant to be shared. The key ingredient to a successful board is good company. 

Enjoy the last month of warm breezes before fall sets in. We’re pretty excited for fall at Tanglewood. Warm, cozy fall flavors and family-fun activities are coming soon, and… so will something new from our winery!

Let us know what your favorite things to add to charcuterie boards are! Do you have any tips or tricks? Which of our wines is your favorite to pair? Let us know in the comments! Cheers!


What kind of wine glasses do you need?

By | Blog, Wine Education | No Comments

While we fully support the drinking of wine out of whatever vessel you have available, there are some strong arguments for drinking wine out of the “proper” glass. Wine glasses are designed to improve the wine drinking experience of particular types of wine. Their different shapes allow for temperature preservation, delivering aromas, and more.

First, take a look at the different parts of the wine glass. 

We’re going to break down which glasses deliver the best drinking experience for different types of wine so that you can choose the right glass everytime.


White Wines


White wines are best served in glasses with a smaller bowl, however the width of the bowl can vary based on the category of white wine.

A smaller bowl preserves floral aromas, expresses acidity, and maintains a cool temperature.

Lighter, sweeter white wines like our Traminette do better in tall, slim bowls. Heavier, more full-bodied white wines like Chardonnay are better with a larger bowl with a wide mouth that helps emphasize the creaminess. 


Red Wines

There are three main types of red wine glass. Some red wine glasses help smooth spiciness, or cut bitterness. 

Large bowl glasses help to accentuate aromas and mitigate the burn of the ethanol since the wine is further from the nose. A larger surface area allows the ethanol to evaporate more efficiently and deliver a smoother finish.  

Spicy wines like Malbecs do well in medium-sized red wine glasses. Medium-sized glasses allow the drinker to enjoy more of the subtleties in the flavor, and also calm spice in the wines by pouring more slowly from a smaller opening. 

Sweeter or more aromatic red wines like our Frontenac are best enjoyed in a glass with a large round bowl. This helps collect and preserve the aromas to really enhance the flavors.


Port wines like our Blue Blood are very high in alcohol. These are best served in smaller glasses with a narrow opening. These features reduce evaporation to preserve the flavor.

Will you be buying a variety of glasses, or just the one right for your favorite kind of wine? We hope you try our wines with the glasses described above! If you do, let us know if you can taste a difference using different glasses!


Tanglewood’s Award-Winning Wines

By | Blog | No Comments

We do what we do because we love it. We make things that people share, people enjoy, and people treat themselves to. That’s really the reason we get up and go each day. So when we get to not only make the wine that makes people happy, but receive awards for those wines, we’re pretty much over the moon! 

This year we are thrilled, honored, and grateful to have won awards from the New York International Wine Competition, as well as the Indy International Wine Competition. Out of thousands of entrants from around the world, our wines were chosen by distinguished judges as some of the best in their categories.

The Indy International Wine Competition is the largest independently organized wine competition in the U.S. This competition had over 2,000 entrants from  14 different countries! Here, our Traminette won Double Gold and Blue Silk and Frontenac won Silver awards. 

At the New York International Wine Competition,  our wine (among over 1,400 other entrants’ wines) were judged by trade buyers from top importers, wine shops, restaurants, and sommeliers in the form of a blind taste test. Here, Tanglewood won Michigan Fruit Winery of the Year and Blue Silk won Gold for fruit wine. These awards were unique because they opened up a great opportunity to have Blue Silk sold, distributed, and imported to other areas around the country and the rest of the world.

Thank you for enjoying our wines so that we can continue to enjoy making them. 

Learn more about these competitions:

New York International Wine Competition

Indy International Wine Competition


2019 Tanglewood Award-Winners:

Tanglewood Winery–New York International Wine Competition: Michigan Fruit Winery of the Year

Traminette–Indy International Wine Competition: Double Gold

Frontenac–Indy International Wine Competition: Silver

Blue Silk–New York International Wine Competition: Gold & Indy International Wine Competition: Silver


Summer Sangria Recipes

By | Blog, Recipes | No Comments

Sunshine + Sangria = a recipe for a great afternoon! Sangria is perfect for entertaining. It’s one of the easiest and tastiest drinks to make, and bonus: it looks beautiful!

Tanglewood wines are already sweet and fruity so they are perfect in sangrias! Here are a few recipes using Blue Silk (Purchase Here). Let us know which ones you try. Cheers!


Refreshing Blueberry-Lime Sangria





1 Bottle of Blue Silk (purchase here)

4 cups Lime LaCroix (or other lime soda)

2 cups Blueberries, frozen

Blueberries (for garnish)

Mint Leaves (for garnish)




Mix Blue Silk and Lime LaCroix (or other lime soda) in a pitcher.

Add in frozen blueberries.
Pour over ice.

Using a toothpick, spear fresh blueberries and mint leaf and use to garnish your drink.



Blueberry and Cranberry Sangria




1 Bottle of Blue Silk

2 cups Cranberry Juice

¼ Brandy

2 cups Blueberries

2 tablespoons sugar

Lemon (Sliced)



Mix Blue Silk, Cranberry Juice, and Brandy in a pitcher.
In a bowl, mash Blueberries and Sugar together.
Add mashed blueberry/sugar mixture to the pitcher.
Add half of the sliced lemon.
Refrigerate overnight. (Minimum 4 hours)
Serve and garnish glasses with leftover lemon slices and blueberries.


Fresh Berry Sangria




*Fresh fruit amounts are optional depending on how much you like.


1/2 Pint Fresh Blackberries

1/2 Pint Fresh Blueberries

1 Pint Strawberries

1 Cup Club Soda

1 Bottle Blue Silk




Add fresh fruit to the bottom of a pitcher.

Pour in bottle of Blue Silk.

Refrigerate overnight (Minimum 4 hours)

Pour in club soda before serving.

Serve and garnish with extra fruit.



Do your health a favor and drink more wine!

By | Blog, Health | No Comments


We’ve all been there, when you’ve already had your wine with dinner and another glass is sounding pretty good. You’re mid-pour and you think, this probably isn’t great for my health. If you’re pouring anything other than an antioxidant-rich blueberry wine like Blue Silk, you’re probably right. However, if the wine you’re pouring is Blue Silk, then put your guilt away and get out another bottle!

As our motto — more fruit makes better wine — explains, we use as many antioxidant-rich, vitamin-packed, cholesterol-lowering, anti-aging blueberries in our wine as possible.

Let us explain why blueberries and blueberry wine are so great for your health, and why you should stop feeling guilty for having that second glass!



Antioxidants are compounds in your body that help protect you against cancer-causing free radicals. Out of all the fruits and veggies out there, blueberries are the best at defending your body from cancer.



Blueberries are one of the most nutrient-dense types of berry. They contain fiber, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, and Manganese. These vitamins all work together to promote healthy body function and prevent things like osteoporosis, anemia, heart diseases and more!



Blueberries contain polyphenols, which have been shown to reduce cholesterol and promote healthy heart function. In fact, some researchers of the superfood believe that blueberries can cut your cholesterol levels by almost half!



Blueberries have been shown to prevent memory-loss, improve brain function, slow down vision-loss, and prevent soreness so that you can exercise more!


If those aren’t reason enough to treat yourself to some Blue Silk, then the sweet, smooth flavor should be! Find out where you can purchase Blue Silk near you!

Pairing Tanglewood Wines with the Perfect Warm Winter Meals

By | Blog, Recipes, Wine Pairings | No Comments

Two big problems with winter: It’s very cold, and we run out of things to do. One of the very best ways to warm up in this chilly winter weather is to cook a comforting warm meal. Cooking is also a fun date night in when the roads are too dangerous to venture out.

It’s tough to come up with dinner ideas that are both comforting and fun to make! We’ve rounded up a few great meals to keep you warm this winter that also pair perfectly with our wines!


  1. Fettuccine Alfredo


This creamy, warm Fettuccine Alfredo is both delicious and easy to make! Grab a bottle of Traminette and you’ve got yourself a restaurant-quality dining experience without having to put your boots on and brave the freezing temps!


  1. Barbeque Pulled Pork


Would you rather take a hot bath or cozy up in a blanket in front of Netflix than spend the evening cooking? Make this one in the morning and come home to a house that smells amazing and a ready-to-eat meal that is sure to please everyone in the family. Pick up some Blue Silk from your local Spartan Store before you get home for the ultimate treat yourself night!


  1. Spaghetti with Bacon, Breadcrumbs, and Arugula


Get the kids on board with Arugula and have an excuse to drink your favorite Michigan sweet red wine! Spaghetti is a reliable comfort food that may seem like old news, but this recipe adds some interest to a familiar favorite, and — when paired with Frontenac — feels like a brand new meal!


  1. Flourless Chocolate Cake


Whichever recipe you try for dinner, finish the evening with a major treat! Pair our Blue Blood Port with a flourless Chocolate Cake and enjoy chocolate heaven in front of a warm fire!


Michigan Wine Month

By | Blog | No Comments

Happy Michigan Wine Month! Have you visited a Michigan winery lately? Great wines are made all over Michigan and, especially during the month of May, we appreciate them.

The winemaking industry has been important to Michigan for hundreds of years. When early settlers arrived here, they discovered wild grape vines from which they could make wine. However, it wasn’t until the 1800s that this could be an actual occupation. The wine industry was able to really take off after the repeal of the Prohibition Act in the 1930s. Since then, Michigan has become home to very many great wineries—producing wine with not only grapes but a selection of different fruits.

There are so many that we can have an entire month to celebrate and recognize them. May is the perfect month to go out and visit a local Michigan winery and get a taste of all the varieties of high-quality wine near you. What a perfect kick off to summer!

To find out where to purchase Tanglewood’s wines, visit Happy Michigan Wine Month!

Wine Terminology

By | Blog | No Comments

Wine is more than a drink, it’s a hobby, a passion, and a lifestyle for people all over the world. And like any hobbyists, wine drinkers have their fair share of in-words. Have you gone to dinner with friends and been totally lost as they discussed their options with the Sommelier? (Do you know what a Sommelier is?) That’s okay! We do! And we can help you speak like the wine lover you are on the inside, or at least keep up with your fancy friends. Here are some terms to help you discuss wine, and pick wines that you’ll really enjoy. After reading this, go read our wine descriptions again!


Wine Terminology:

Acidity: Crispness that activates salivary glands

Aeration:  Adding oxygen to a wine to make the flavor softer and fuller. If someone says that a freshly opened red  “needs to breathe” this is what they are referring to. You can also buy aerators which are tools that quickly add oxygen to the wine as its poured through, and decanters which allow more air to access the wine than a bottle does.

Blend: Wines that are made of different types of grapes. Wines are typically named for the grape used to make it, like Frontenac. Some wines however use multiple varietals and are referred to as a “blend.”

Body: A sensation that describes the weight of the wine as you drink it. Wines can be light, medium, or full-bodied.

Bouquet: The aroma of an aged wine.

Complex: A wine with several aromas and flavors

Corked: A wine that has been stored improperly and now has a poor flavor.

Dry: A wine that is not sweet and causes a puckering sensation.

Finish: The sensation in the mouth after swallowing.

Fruity: A wine that strongly exhibits the taste and smells of fresh fruit (hint: awesome choices like Blue Silk).

Hot: A wine that contains more alcohol than average.

Mature: A wine that has aged long enough that it’s now ready to drink.

Oak/Oaky: A wine that has notes of vanilla, and other flavors that it takes on from the oak barrels it is stored/aged in.

Sommelier: A certified wine professional

Structure: A term often used to describe the balance of flavors, acidity, alcohol, and tannins

Sweet: A wine that has perceptible sugar content

Tannins: Phenolic compounds in wine that have a bitter taste

Vinification: The process of making wine

Vintage: The year that a wine is bottled

Tanglewood winery is a production facility. We do not have a tasting room.